How To Determine if a Loan Mod Company or Law Firm is Reputable

It is estimated that 84 percent of foreclosures have been erroneous or done illegally by banks, which means without attorney representation, you’re a sitting duck.

What’s more, according to the U.S. Treasury, about 70 percent of homeowners get denied for government loan modifications because of bank errors and lost paperwork, so it’s proven that working with a reputable professional will increase your chances of success and certainly reduce stress.

But what is reputable? Let’s have a closer look at some of the checks and balances you can put into place when evaluating a loan mod company or attorney.

Are They Listed with the Better Business Bureau?

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can be one of the best resources for homeowners to avoid scams and evaluate companies in the loan modification and foreclosure prevention industry.

According to the BBB website, its mission is as follows:

BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust…

BBB sees trust as a function of two primary factors – integrity and performance. Integrity includes respect, ethics and intent. Performance speaks to a business’s track record of delivering results in accordance with BBB standards and/or addressing customer concerns in a timely, satisfactory manner.

In theory, this is an ideal way to determine whether or not a company is legitimate. However, we have found that unless you know how to interpret the information provided by the BBB correctly, you can still end up becoming a victim.

The BBB’s “Pay To Get An A” Scandal

The BBB grade is typically an indicator of the company’s reliability, however for companies that are accredited, that may not be the case.

According to an ABC 20/20 investigation, the BBB was associated with a scandal that essentially strong-armed businesses into paying for BBB accreditation to magically receive a higher grade or face the consequences of grades as low as “F.”

Bottom line: if a company has a high rating and not received BBB accreditation, then you can be assured that they didn’t pay for it, they earned it!


Watch Out For Newer Businesses

One of the first things we look at when evaluating a company’s BBB profile is how many years they have been in business. Working with a company that just started typically means one of two things:

  1. Investing your money into their product or service is risky because they likely don’t have experience or a proven track record of success. Your life’s biggest investment is on the line, so you don’t want to be someone’s “test” case.
  2. They may be trying to cover up their blemished past. For example, we have discovered an attorney that was associated with another law firm with an “F” rating, and is now working with a new company. This is a red flag that can easily go undetected.


Complaint History

Almost all companies get complaints at one time or another, however, what we look at when investigating companies is the following:

  • How many complaints do they have?
  • Are there any patterns of repetitive complaints?
  • Has the company responded to complaints in a timely fashion?
  • Have they ignored the complaints or put forth effort to resolve complaints?


Beware of Guarantees

Any company that promises or guarantees a specific outcome is usually not being honest, whether it’s a high-profile attorney, your mortgage company or any professional in loan mod industry.

Why not even your mortgage company? Because, ultimately, it’s up to your lender to approve and set the terms of your loan-workout option, which is based on the information that you provide and your mortgage company is typically just servicing your loan. You also have to package the request for a loan workout appropriately and follow up as needed.

Money-back guarantees are just as risky because of the following:

  1. If the company goes out of business, your money is likely gone as well.
  2. Companies often write language into their contracts that make refunds difficult or near impossible after performing some level of work.

I hope this information will be a useful resource in your search to find reputable, honest and reliable help. Help us, help you avoid scams:

  • After speaking with more than 10,000 homeowners, we hear about the companies that aren’t doing a good job and know how to identify scams.
  • We have done our research and due diligence, and believe the legal and financial professionals we recommend are industry leaders with the necessary experience you need to achieve the best possible outcome.
About Brett Robbins

Brett Robbins is the founder and CEO of The Homeowner Defense Network. The HDN offers systems that help homeowners discover what programs they may or may not qualify for and why in less than a week. The HDN also has a trusted network of mortgage relief service providers, and offers a proven credit education program.

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